The Rainbow Pig
I once ate copper salt bleeding through jasper,
now my eyes are green.
I chewed cyanide into dust and spit,
so blue, so blue, my teeth.
My belly turned yellow to be the sun
shining on its own shadow.
In the heat and crickets of August I was so hungry
for autumn I gorged on maple leaves.
My coat turned orange, my points ochre, my mane
like a kissable lip, so red, so red.
I am the rainbow pig.
While others snort and root and grunt, I am silent
until the day star burns off the whiskey rain.
Find me, find me at the end of the iris,
I’m dreaming, dreaming of you.
And here, a fish that can’t be alive,
in the dirty martini stream that doesn’t exist.
Yet it does,
curling at the humeris and ulna
of Mississippi and Southern Aves.
in Southeast Washington—city of elbows.
Legless swimmer, let me imagine,
you fell from storm clouds hissing in sky,
traveled from parking lot via rain sewer
in paper cup or Guinness can barge,
not fifteen downhill blocks from St. E’s
where Pound sang his cantos to sleep
under Chinooks from Bolling Air Force Base,
and gray destroyers in the Navy Yard,
and deeper still, a geology layered
by hands skilled in the art of corruption
so that dinosaur gravel from 60 million years ago
beds with alluvial clay from an era of live birth.
This rarest of rocky marriages,
the only one that produces magnolia bogs.
No wonder its popularity among middle schoolers
like my mother in the Fifties, preparing to be greasers,
or to protest police activity in the Mekong delta,
but on another corner of her bitter witness
the pursuit of any meaning is what matters,
and a hot herring sandwich at Auntie Lucy’s.
Even today, as four deer gossip in the fens,
two beautiful brown boys climb the bank,
a little hip showing above their damp denim
as if they’d just been for a swim.
All the Latest Talk in Paradise